Just days after the telecom regulator came out with its recommendations on spectrum pricing and auction modalities, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday said that things are moving “as per schedule” on 5G.
The comment assumes significance as the Indian market is gearing up for the next-generation 5G services, that will usher in ultra high-speeds and spawn new-age offerings and business models. The 5G spectrum auction is expected to be held in June-July time frame.
To a question on TRAI’s recent 5G recommendation, and what will be the next course of action for the Telecom Department, Vaishnaw said: “Things are moving on track, things are moving on 5G as per the schedule.”
The minister, who was speaking on the sidelines of ‘Fincluvation’ event, declined to make any specific observations on the 5G recommendations and said, “Please wait for few more weeks, I think we should be coming up with good solution.”
Last week, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended about a 39 per cent reduction in the reserve or floor price for the sale of spectrum for mobile services, including 5G, but apex industry association COAI expressed anguish over the regulator’s recommendations, terming the spectrum pricing as “too high”.
The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) argued that the industry had recommended 90 per cent lower prices, and for it to see only about 35-40 per cent reduction recommended at prices “is deeply disappointing”.
Given the recent reforms for the telecom sector announced by the government, these recommendations are “one step backwards than forward” towards building a digitally connected India, COAI had claimed.